Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What's Happening with Abbey

Here's what Abbey's looking like now, much better than the previous post, don't you think?

This is Abbey and our niece Meredith who is 7 months old 

Abbey was diagnosed during her stay at Children's with Type 1 diabetes. Of the 25.8 million people in America with diabetes, only 5% are Type 1 diabetics. Because of this, there's a lot of misinformation about this form of diabetes. Abbey will never be able to use diet and exercise to control her diabetes, she  requires insulin on a daily basis. Right now she is taking 8 units of insulin at every meal, and 26 units of insulin at night. After 6 months to a year of giving herself injections she will be eligible for a pump.

The hardest part of this has been the very strict schedule she needs to be on for eating/snacking/giving herself injections. She eats at 8am, 12, and 6pm. She must get 60 carbs with breakfast and lunch and 70 with dinner. When she eats her scheduled snacks they must be under 15 carbs. It's has been a task to adjust the crazy teenaged activity schedule of Abbey and Michael to make sure Abbey is eating at EXACTLY those times and with the amount of carbs but Abbey is exactly the person for the job. Abbey is very type A, analytical, organized and practical. She has been enjoying the educational meetings she's been attending and I'm certain next year she'll be leading them.

So. Why did this happen? Well, that's something type 1 researchers aren't so sure about. They think to get type 1 diabetes you must have three things, a genetic propensity, a propensity to autoimmune attacks and (this is the contested point) an environmental or virus trigger. In Abbey's case, my grandfather's family had a few cases of type 2 diabetes (we have no relatives with type 1), she has a thyroid disorder (thus the proneness to autoimmune disorders) and they think the flu triggered her ketosis. It is thought that without the flu Abbey would have eventually gotten diabetes, but in a less dramatic fashion.

Abbey had underwent a full work up by a pediatric endocrinologist on the 30th of October, as she was losing weight and having difficulty concentrating at school (very unlike her) however, at that time she was still having high/normal blood sugars, so the coma she went into on the 18th of November was a complete shock to all parties. In part because of this, we get to help type 1 researchers who are studying triggers for the onset of the disease. The researchers were quite happy to hear Abbey has 6 siblings! It's a nice pool for them to draw data from ;)

Abbey, Israel and our niece Meredith (she's kinda a happy baby, everyone wants a picture with her)

Abbey's support system at home, My parents, and brothers Israel and Michael.


Carla Hutchins said...

Wow I am so glad she is doing better! Very scary BS levels but I can tell she is a trooper and will handle her diabetes so well. I, too, very recently found out that I am Type 1 Diabetic. I am 26 years old and it does not run in my family, nor was there a specific 'virus' that happened around the time it developed. Such a strange disorder. After 3 months my A1c was very much in the normal range again and I know your Abbey's will be too. :) I went through the trials of insulin through syringes/vials, then moved to pen needles and am now on the pump and it is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I chose the Omnipod pump. It is probably a lot of information for her and your family right now. Just know that you have to figure out what works best for Abbey and that can be slightly different for so many people. We adjusted my insulin amount and carb count several times before finally getting it exactly wear it needs to be. Take notes and communicate with your doctor often. It looks like she has great support. :) Let her know that if she EVER needs advice/opinions/support. I am very open about my Type 1 and would love to communicate. More importantly make sure she knows that everything WILL be okay and she will be able to live a VERY normal life, very easily. You can read about my story that took me quite a while to brave to write. I am now much more comfortable talking about everything. Here:

Carla Hutchins said...

PS. I know you don't know me. So me posting on your blog was probably pretty strange! But, I'm pretty sure you took pictures of a high school friend of mine (Hope George). I have been following your photography blog and LOVE your photos.

Butterfly Chaser Photography said...

I love all the input my clients have been giving me about Type 1! It's how Abbey got connected with the Type 1 groups in the Tyler area days after she made it home and it's just been so helpful to have knowable people to bounce questions to! I really appreciate your input on the next step Abbey should take. She's on the insulin pen now (as of yesterday) and that should make things smoother, the next step is researching pumps....

dndInfotainment p said...
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